AFCON U20: Uganda seal quarter finals slot after sharing spoils with South Sudan
By Thomas Odongo
Uganda drew goalless with neighbours South Sudan in Group C to seal a spot in the quarter-finals of the TotalEnergies U-20 Africa Cup of Nations. Uganda and Congo are level at the top of Group C while debutants South Sudan finished in third place.
The Hippos of Uganda dominated the early exchanges of the East African derby at the Suez Canal Stadium in Ismailia. Jackson Mayanja’s charges created numerous chances in the first half but failed to find a way past Godwill Yogusuk in the South Sudan goal.
Umar Lutalo found space down the left channel of the Ugandan attack, dropping a shoulder to cut in before seeing his effort cleared inside ten minutes of the thrilling derby.
Uganda continued to push forward with Lutalo and Rogers Mugisha combining well on the left side of their attack.
South Sudan defender Daniel Bichok produced a last ditch challenge to deny Rogers Mugisha from going through on goal.
The Bright Stars registered their first efforts on target midway through the first half through Paul Mara’s glancing header. The diminutive winger rose high in the box head straight at Abdu Magada who was on alert.
The Hippos saw efforts from distance by Lutalo, Mugisha and Mayanja missed the target as South Sudan defended well with numbers. The Bright Stars found the back of the net but Felix Abishai’s celebration was cut short when he was flagged offside on the stroke of half-time.
The second half was an even battle as both sides pushed for the breakthrough under the floodlights at the Suez Canal Stadium. Paul Mara came close to giving South Sudan the lead ten minutes after the restart when he headed over the rushing Yogusuk but his effort came off the post.
The Bright Stars were guilty of another missed opportunity with second half substitute Peter Chut missing an open goal from Emmanuel Loboka’s cross. Jackson Mayanja’s teams created two late half chances through Travis Mutyaba. Travis Mutyaba had a shot turned over before Yogusuk denied him with a low diving save.
The both sides canceled each other out to settle for the points and go through to the quarter finals.